Thursday, September 11, 2008

AmeriDebt and DebtWorks case being resolved – sort of

The FTC’s case against Andris Pukke has netted over $12M in repayment to many of his victims, in part thanks to some diligent work on the part of the court receiver (Robb Evans & Associates) to hunt down assets he attempted to hide offshore as well as with friends and family. Pukke spent a month in prison in May of 2007 for contempt of court for the maneuvers.

But given the fact that the $12M is being divided up among about 287,000 of the nearly 460,000 victims, that means the average recovery is about $42 although the more they paid the more they are supposed to get. (According to an earlier state lawsuit filed in St. Louis, the average victim was charged about $327.)

What most people have forgotten about this monumental scam is that back in May of 1996, Pukke and his wife formed AmeriDebt in the same month he pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges involved in his previous scheme to defraud consumers by falsely promising “debt consolidation loans,” then not providing them. He was sentenced to probation.

In 2001 and 2002, his brother Eriks' company, Debticated Consumer Counseling, another nonprofit credit counseling operation in Huntington, N.Y., dolled out $5 million to DebtWorks. Debticated went out of business in 2003.

Pukke (shown above, at right being sworn in before testifying in Senate hearing in 2004) lived lavishly from the allegedly “not for profit” scheme. In addition to his home in Maryland, in 2005 he purchased a $6.4M home in Laguna Beach, California. At one time he was involved with a land development project in Belize.

If anyone is wondering why there are more and more of these kinds of things cropping up everywhere, one only has to consider the timeline of the Pukke case and the kind of lives they get to live during their run.

This particular Echeneidae Collectoris thrived off of a lot of people who were already victims, and the fact is there is still an endless supply of them being created every minute.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

No comments: